Three years ago next month I picked up a hula hoop for the first time. Ok, well not technically the first time- I certainly had one as a kid. But it was pretty neglected as I could never seem to keep it from falling.
This whole journey started with me making a joke. I was sitting in my friend Sam’s front yard on a beautiful summer day and she brought out a hoop. I picked it up saying “I bet I still can’t do this” and to my great surprise- I could!
I made her take a picture just in case it was a fluke. See above.
It took me another six months to buy a hoop. I’m not entirely sure why being that I every time I could get my hands on one I spun it around my waist with excitement. But once I did, I couldn’t stop. At the time I was living more or less in an attic (ie. there was no space) but even that didn’t matter.
As the weather got warmer I discovered YouTube tutorials and ventured out onto my front lawn. We lived on a very high traffic corner at the time and I was always amused by the comments and stares I got. For once, I wasn’t self conscious at all. I was having too much fun to care about the drivers judging me- and at the time that was a pretty big deal. Even then I think I had realized – hooping is so much more than a kids toy.
Leading up to that summer I had been extremely depressed, and no one including myself could seem to figure out why. I was inches away from starting an antidepressant. But on the worst days I knew that at least I could come home and hoop and forget, just for a while. (It was later determined I was suffering from a side effect of my birth control pill – go figure, but at least it was an easy fix!).
Something about that circular motion is calming. Something about knowing where the hoop is and where your body will direct it next is comforting. Something about the continuous roll of the circle feels like home.
A bit dramatic? Probably. But it’s all true.
Unfortunately, shortly after I figured this all out, I fractured my femur. I was crushed. I avoided anything hooping related like the plague because it was too painful to face.
The (three) different times I was (sort of) cleared to walk (it was a long recovery process…), the first thing I did was hoop. And within ten minutes I always felt better- as if something inside me had been missing before.
Now that I’ve been healed for a while, and the weather is warm enough to venture outside again, I just can’t seem to stop. I’m beginning to really find my flow (noun: the difference between individual tricks and the constant meditative movement within/around the hoop, looks and feels different for every hooper). And it’s never felt better.
So here’s my flow as of late. It’s a work in progress, of course. My transitions are shaky and I drop the damn thing often. But it’s so much freaking fun.
(If you turn it all the way up you can kind of hear the song. It’s a discovery of Kyle’s called Catsgroove).